In iOS 11.3, Apple is introducing a number of new features, including one that provides users with more transparency about the health of their device’s battery. Now, with the arrival of iOS 11.3 beta 2, Apple is giving us our first look at how its new Battery Health feature will work.
Available for the iPhone 6 or later, Battery Health is designed to periodically assess the level of performance management necessary to avoid unexpected shutdowns, according to Apple. The company explains:
If the battery health is able to support the observed peak power requirements, the amount of performance management will be lowered. If an unexpected shutdown occurs again, then performance management will increase. This assessment is ongoing, allowing more adaptive performance management.
Users who update to iOS 11.3 will be able to turn off the Battery Health feature as they see fit, though Apple CEO Tim Cook doesn’t recommend doing so. By default, the performance management feature will be disabled, but if an unexpected shutdown occurs, it will be turned on.
So, what information will users find in Battery Health? There are two features: Maximum Capacity and Peak Performance Capability.
Maximum battery capacity will provide users with a look at the overall health of their battery relative to when it was new. “Batteries will start at 100% when first activated and will have lower capacity as the battery chemically ages which may result in fewer hours of usage between charges,” Apple explains.
With normal usage, Apple says a normal battery will return 80% of its original capacity at 500 complete charge cycles. Once your battery degrades, it may not be able to provide you with peak performance, which brings us to Battery Health’s next feature.
Peak Performance Capability features a brief explanation as to how your device’s battery is operating, cycling through a number of explanations depending on your battery’s health. When everything’s good, the screen will show your battery is supporting normal peak performance. It will also tell you when your battery is significantly degraded.
In its support pages, Apple provides a more thorough explanation as to the inner workings of lithium-ion batteries and how they age, along with tips for maximizing battery life. As Apple already said, when a phone is slowed down due to a degraded battery, users may notice longer app launch times, lower frame rates while scrolling, and more.
Apple’s iOS 11.3 is currently in beta and is expected to launch sometime next month.